Quote of the day–Dennis A. Henigan et al

Once the right to keep and bear arms is separated from its long-established tether to a militia purpose, it is unclear what legal standard gun laws would need to survive constitutional challenge. There is little doubt, however, that recognition of a broad private right to be armed will create a new presumption against the constitutionality of gun laws, whereas currently there is a virtually absolute presumption in favor of their constitutionality. Guns would achieve a specially protected constitutional status imposing unique limits on the legislative authority of the elected representatives of the people that would apply to no other dangerous products. Ironically, regulation of guns, the only publicly-available consumer product designed to inflict lethal injury, would be required to meet a higher constitutional standard than regulation of cars, lawnmowers and other dangerous products capable of inflicting lethal injury, but not designed to do so.

Dennis A. Henigan et al
Director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Legal Action Project
Some time after March of 2007
Second Amendment Fantasy–The Brady Center’s Critique of the Parker v. District of Columbia Decision
Emphasis in the original.
[Henigan et al overlook two important points:

  1. Federal regulation of cars, lawnmowers, etc. is prohibited by the 10th Amendment.
  2. Regulation of a products unintended consequences is much different than that for which it is designed.

Ignoring the first point for today and concentrating on the second point a little thought will reveal the regulation Henigan supports is much different than that of cars and lawnmowers.

A regulation requiring a self-propelled lawnmower to turn itself off when the operator releases their hands from the controls would be analogous to something like requiring a gun to tolerate being dropped without discharging. Which, if it were done by a state legislature, I wouldn’t pick a constitutional fight over. A regulation which restricted self-propelled lawnmowers to government employees is analogous to the type of restrictions Henigan advocates.

Beyond the above points the 2nd Amendment specifically protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. So yes, assuming the Heller (formerly Parker) decision goes our way, guns would achieve a specially protected constitutional status imposing unique limits on our government. This was the original intent of the 2nd Amendment.

Therefore a more succinct response to Henigan et al would be, “And your point is?”–Joe]


I almost used this exact paragraph from here as my QOTD but decided to look around some more and save that for some other time. I then saw this exact paragraph while visiting here and again was sorely tempted. As I continued to wander my RSS feeds revealed Sebastian and Kevin eliminated my backups. Either it is a conspiracy against me or great minds think alike. I’m inclined to think the later because Say Uncle has the same complaint as I do.

5 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Dennis A. Henigan et al

  1. “…currently there is a virtually absolute presumption in favor of their constitutionality.”

    Speak for yourself, Dennis Henigan. Obviously you’ve never taken the time to read what the Founders themselves thought of the Second Amendment. Maybe you should rephrase your statement and make to more honest:

    “…currently, there is a virtually absolute presumption that the Second Amendment will not be enforced, and that it can therefore, like much of the Constitution, be completely ignored.”

  2. That quote cracks me up first I’m like “Once the right to keep and bear arms is separated from its long-established tether to a militia purpose,”

    well that’s not true. Then I’m like “it is unclear what legal standard gun laws would need to survive constitutional challenge.”

    well that’s not true either!

    To the groups that attempt to explain why they justify taking away civil rights, a comma is usually a tool in a sentence that separates two lies to somehow try to make one truth.

  3. Automobiles are absolutely unregulated.

    Only automobiles operated on public road are regulated.

    A fifteen year old can buy a car on ebay, pay to have it towed to his house, and spend all day turning cookies in his parents’ back 40 without ever touching government paper. Legally.

  4. “…without ever touching government paper. Legally.”

    Except for sales and excise taxes. Said fifteen year-old could then purchase fuel for said car without paying highway taxes, and save quite a bit of the regular pump price, and while he was at it, he could buy a bag-full of matches and lighters, and most Leftists wouldn’t bat an eye.

    When we get to the point that there are multiple, public-funded shooting ranges in every city and town, and several others in the countryside in between, all with public-funded ROs, then I’ll get a license to use my guns at them. Maybe. If they have good facilities and rifle lanes of more than 200 yards. The federal taxes we already pay on ammunition and sales taxes on guns could be used to fund them.

    Oh, and to complete the analogy; we’d need to have “shooter’s education” programs in every public school in the country, wherein the district provides guns, ammunition and instructors to teach everyone good marksmanship. (Leftists; poop your pants all you want [and please do] but this very sort of program was actually fairly common in public schools in the Post W.W.II period).

    This could be easily justified in light of the fact that we have the 2nd Amendment, whereas we can already justify driver’s ed and public roads in the absence of any specific Bill of Rights guarantee to our right to keep and drive cars. Also because there are vastly fewer gun accident fatalities than there are motor vehicle fatalities (last time I looked it up it was a ratio of 1:31).

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